Published: Tue, August 13, 2019

Flights cancelled in Hong Kong airport as protests escalate

Flights cancelled in Hong Kong airport as protests escalate

"All check-in service for departure flights has been suspended".

The cancellations will have major repercussions.

In response to the proposed changes, people amassed by the thousands to oppose the changes.

One passenger, who wishes to remain anonymous, told the BBC they had been left stranded at the airport with "no food and no drinking water".

The precise trigger for the airport's closure was not clear, since protesters occupying the arrivals hall for four days have been peaceful. At one point, protesters blocked the entrance to a plaza to prevent police from entering.

The fourth day saw a sharp rise in attendance by protesters after a woman was hit in the eye by a tear gas round at the weekend and may potentially lose her vision as a result.

A number of people, including a police officer, were injured in the clashes.

Protesters hurled bricks at officers and ignored warnings to leave before tear gas was deployed in the Sham Shui Po area, police said, calling a march there an "unauthorized assembly". Lo said the force "will strive to investigate all violent acts that have caused serious and even life-threatening injuries". In July, demonstrators broke into a government building.

"It's really inconvenient for people".

"So, the demonstrators in Hong Kong, I think, don't see the bigger picture, they don't know what America's really like, and they are being taken for a ride".

The UK too has faced increasing pressure to take greater action over the protests. Local media reported that they were accused of leaking the travel details of a Hong Kong police football team that was travelling to the mainland.

The statement added that the police's excessive use of power and violence was eroding the city's rule of law.

The decision came after thousands of pro-democracy demonstrators flooded into the airport holding signs reading "Hong Kong is not safe" and "Shame on police". They have also repeatedly condemned a group of "radical" protesters who have resorted to violence to have their demands heard.

Showcasing the slick design that has characterized the protests, other pamphlets and posters also advertised planned demonstrations as "new tourist spots", handed out airline tickets "to freedom" and advised tourists what to do if they were caught in the protests during their visit.

Hong Kong is the world's busiest air cargo port and the eighth busiest by passenger traffic, handling 73 million passengers a year.

The Hong Kong Journalists Association and the Hong Kong Press Photographers Association, in a joint statement on August 11, condemned the police for failing to arrest people who had carried out attacks against journalists at North Point earlier on the same day.

"In recent days, Hong Kong's radical protesters have repeatedly attacked police with highly unsafe tools, which constitute serious violent crimes and have started to show signs of terrorism", said a spokesperson for the Chinese government on Monday.

By appealing to the global community, and making sure it is their message that most foreigners are seeing, protesters have shown themselves adept at public relations.

The city's foreign investment promotion agency, InvestHK, boasts that Asia's key markets are "less than four hours away", a big selling point for the 8,000 worldwide companies that have set up sales, operations and research and development centers in Hong Kong.

It comes as the Chinese government continues to ramp up its propaganda output in an effort to control the narrative about the protests, at least domestically. Others just carried backpacks over the black T-shirts that have become their uniform.

Hong Kongers responded by taking to the streets again.

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